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By Our Reporter | Shillong, Sep 24, 2018: 

Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Monday told the Assembly that the State Government is committed towards implementing the Smart City project.

“The Smart City project is very important and prestigious project for the State especially for Shillong city. We were the exact hundred cities to be included in this project,” Conrad said while replying during the Question Hour on the second day of the Assembly Autumn session here today.

He, however, admitted that the funding pattern of 50:50 for the project to be shared by the Centre and the State Government is an issue for a small state like Meghalaya.

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The Chief Minister said that they had met the Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri to discuss on the issue of funding pattern of this project adding that the Union Minister had assured that he will try to help the State in a different way.

“There are many areas where the Government can help us. There are certain funding which will come along the way,” Conrad said.

He, however, asserted that the Centre cannot directly say that it will give special consideration to the Northeastern States.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said that the beauty of this project is that there are possibilities of having PPP (private-public partnership) mode and other available options to get the funds required for the project.

Earlier, Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling said that there is special provisions according to the circulation issued by the Union Ministry of Finance that there shall be special consideration for the North Eastern States where the states are entitled to 90/10 and 80/20 funding. Based on this circulation of the Ministry, a delegation led by Chief Minister met Union Minister of Urban Development to make a request to reduce share of the State on this project.

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He said that they would also require the special purpose vehicle (SPV) to move ahead with this project adding that by second week of October, they would be able to constitute the Smart City project.  Meanwhile, he informed that the total project cost which has been approved for the project is Rs 1039 crore..

Replying to a supplementary question raised by Congress legislator, Ampareen Lyngdoh on ways in which the State Government can generate Rs 500 crore plus to meet the share for the project, Dohling said that he will not be able to give all the details since they are still waiting for the final communication from the Ministry if they could agree either on the 90:10 or 80:20 funding pattern.

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